Hollywood Pudgy: The real Lisa was overweight and was repeatedly tormented by both Bobby and Marty about it. The actress chosen to play Lisa hardly even qualifies as chubby — yet Bobby still calls her a "fat bitch."
Derby Harrington and Bif Taylor are widely believed to be in a gay relationship. This belief stems from some of their reactions, and is backed further by a random line that Dan Wilson, one of the Jocks, says. Another factor supporting this is that Derby didn't seem to mind Pinky going into a relationship with Jimmy.
Jerkass interpretation - Just a smug narcissistic jackass who isn't as smart as he thinks he is, who's primary motivation is that he loves manipulating people.
Jerkass Woobie interpretation - He hints that he has a horrible home life, a host of medical problems for which he has to take pills that make him feel horrible, a personality and attitude that prevents him from having friends.
Pete Kowalski: nervous sideline woobie, or a superior, more patient manipulator?
Woobie: It's how he's propped up to be seen throughout the whole game. Gary humiliates and beats him regularly, in Halloween, he's dressed up as a giant bunny, and is seen to be incredibly nervous at even the slightest rule-breaking.
Manipulator: He seems to guide Jimmy through the perfect path to topple leader after leader. He got close to Gary, so that Gary would rule him out as a threat-free woobie. And, eventually, Jimmy would do the same. It seems Petey's waiting for the perfect moment to seize control, himself, which Jimmy may have absolutely aided by making him head boy out of feeling sorry for him.
Anti-Climax Boss: Gary ends up being a bit of a pushover. This wouldn't be a problem if he weren't the final boss of the game and every other boss before him had more challenge to them. Anniversary Edition tries to avert this by massively buffing his health and damage.
The Big Brawl. You're caught in the middle of a gang war between the Preps and the Greasers, and then you have an epic chase with the cops.
Nice Outfit and The Big Game are the closest this game got to a Grand Theft Auto heist.
Both parts of Busting In. The first part has you following Russell, who managed to steal a police motorcycle, all the way to Edgar's hideout, and the second part has you fighting through the Townies before you confront Edgar in the chemical plant.
The *entirety* of Chapter 4. One long, epic war of attrition between the Nerds and the Jocks. Not a single lackluster mission to be found.
What happens when you find all the transistors for the Hobo? He gets sucked into the sky by a tractor beam while a maniacal laugh echoes.
Walking into the Freak Show and seeing a real live mermaid.
Destroying all the gnomes for Brandi in the Scholarship Edition.
Swimming to the small island in the bay of Old Bullworth Vale and fighting Vance, who's dressed like a pirate.
Breather Boss: The final boss fight against Gary on the school roof. Despite truly epicfinal battle music, he's no tougher than the standard enemy mooks you've been beating up throughout the game, and may even be weaker, considering he spends most of the fight blocking your punches with his face.
Breather Level: The two wrestling lessons during the gym class. They can't be failed: no timer, no health bar, no series of Quick Time Events that prematurely ends the lesson after three failures. You just have to follow the instructions, until you master the combat moves you're being taught.
Captain Obvious Reveal: Gary, Jimmy's personal Jerkass and sociopathic friend, betrays him and spends the rest of the game trying to get him in trouble for his actions.
Catharsis Factor: Not as much as Rockstar's other games, but it's still fun to beat the living hell out of students who are either jerks or plain annoying... or both. Or, if you're feeling dangerous, the Prefects.
Cult Classic: While it may not be as well-known as its M-rated brother, this game still has a loyal following with a high demand for a sequel.
Die for Our Ship: Any shipfic that involves Johnny Vincent will invariably turn Lola into an exaggerated Alpha Bitch, stalker, and make her much more manipulative than she is in-game, making her entirely unable to function without Johnny. This is often ignoring the fact that in-game, it's Johnny who is fixated on Lola.
Gary, despite being a Jerkass, is one of the most popular characters.
The Greasers (excluding Lola) in general get this. It probably has something to do with the Greasers being the only clique that isn't inherently unsympathetic and the aforementioned All Girls Want Bad Boys.
Parker Ogilvie gets it, mainly because he's basically a repressed nice guy by nature. Fanfiction, however, forgets about the "repressed" part a lot, as well not understanding why he can't buy friends and love.
Johnny Vincent is the probably the most popular clique leader, due to his looks and being the most sympathetic clique leader. While most of the other clique leaders are generally assholes to Jimmy until he knocks some sense into them, Johnny actually acted friendly towards him until he earned Lola's attention.
Parker, for being one of the few sympathetic Preppies, and for his genuine Nice Guy personality.
Family-Unfriendly Aesop: The whole game has this via the Adults Are Useless trope. Adults are so out of touch that they can't see past their own noses, and you can turn that to your advantage if you're willing to appeal to their sense of superiority, especially if you can convince them that it's all for the kids.
Fanon: With only slight amounts of time for characters to develop, a number of characterizations in fanfic have stuck and been repeated in other stories. A couple popular ones:
Derby is a foppish ponce who can easily be taken out with a right hook by any Author Avatar, and needs Bif to do everything for him. This is especially ironic considering that during Complete Mayhem, he's probably the toughest of the four faction leaders to take down.
The Greasers are essentially nice guys. This is helped by the fact that the Greasers don't attack you unprovoked until Chapter 3.
The unlockable go-kart is too awesome for the game world. It is faster than all the cars and will comfortably leave any police or prefects in their dust.
Genius Bonus: The background music in the in-universe arcade game Con-Sumo is an electronic remix of "Sakura Sakura", a traditional Japanese folk song from the Tokugawa period. Appropriate, since the game is about sumo wrestlers.
Goddamn Bats: Members of cliques you're not on good terms with will attack you on-sight unprovoked. They will even interrupt you when you're trying to do missions. Fighting back will risk you failing the mission, either by wasting time in a mission with a time limit or getting your trouble meter raised.
The Es on the banners during Earnest's school president speech bares a resemblance to the Kekistan symbol.
Mr. Burton getting Zoe expelled for trying to report his lecherous behavior becomes a huge case of Truth in Television after the 2017 wave of sexual harassment scandals in Hollywood, most notably from Harvey Weinstein. Many of them have similar scenarios where the offender would threaten to get the victim blacklisted from Hollywood if they said anything.
The game's final mission, Complete Mayhem, has Bullworth Academy erupting into chaos, and the police weren't able to intervene because Gary chained the gates locked. It sounds eerily similar to the Virginia Tech Massacre, which occurred only a few months after the game's release. One of the shooter's actions was to chain the doors to the building he targeted shut so that nobody will get in or out. If the game takes place when it came out, starting in Fall of 2006 and ending in Spring of 2007, then that would mean Gary instigated the Bullworth Academy Riot a few weeks at most after Virginia Tech.
Melvin is obsessed with Fantasy RPGs to the point where it often skews his sense of reality. His voice actor, Charlie Saxton, would later go on to play Toby from Trollhunters, another chubby nerd, but this time, actually involved in a real fantasy setting.
Jimmy could have stopped Gary as early as Chapter 2 if he made an attempt to track him down. At least during Chapter 1, Gary was giving Jimmy a good reason to trust him until the end.
Chapter 3 could have been avoided had Johnny kept quiet about Lola and hadn't ordered Jimmy to beat up the Preps, which in turn only caused Derby to manipulate Jimmy into angering the Greasers. Though, it's somewhat justified since Gord was still seeing Lola while she was dating Johnny. On the Preps' end, it gets worse when Chad started seeing Lola when he should know how bad of an idea that is after everything with Gord.
Beatrice has a rather old-fashioned bob haircut, is a bit more modest about clothing than other students, has slight cold sores, and wears cat-eye glasses that are out of date for the game's setting. Yet she is frequently mocked by Mandy for her appearance (and the fact she never makes the cheerleading team), and both Troy and Bryce have dialogue disparaging her. Even Jimmy has slight contempt to kiss her after getting her test answers back.
Eunice Pound is treated as this for being the Fat Girl and having a deep husky voice. However, she is rather average-looking if you look past her figure, and she even acknowledges that she would look better if she lost weight.
Constantinos. While he is a sullen Jerkass, several of his lines indicate that he has some sort of depression. Furthermore, two of his defeat quotes point to him possibly being suicidal as well.
Tad Spencer. He's as rude as most of the preps, but if you piece together some of his free-roam dialogue and battle dialogue, you can get a vast picture of his family life - His father abuses him physically, his mother suffers from domestic abuse, his older brother is in a mental asylum for having no chin, and Tad himself suffers from insecurity from being the only prep who doesn't come from an Old Money background.
Some members of the Bullies cliques from what you can piece of their dialogue indicate this - Davis is emotionally insecure and had a bad childhood because of his cousin feeding him June bugs, Wade has a sour relationship with his father, and Tom is paranoid and doesn't enjoy beating people up for no reason.
Mr. Burton is undoubtedly creepy and unpleasant, but knowing how sad his childhood was makes him at least a bit sympathetic.
Thanks to a Running Gag in Bully YouTuber SWEGTA's videos, Sheldon has become this.
Anything Kirby says relating to "poundcake" is popular among the fandom.
THANKS FOR A GREAT DATE JIMMY!Explanation An infamous quote said by Pinky from the mission Carnival Date - Due to an audio glitch, many of Pinky's lines in the missions are distorted in a manner similar to "ear rape". This is the most noticeable one.
Hattrick wouldn't be out of place as a Grand Theft Auto antagonist, so it's hard to say exactly when he crossed it. It was implied that he was responsible for the friendly fire incident that killed the Hobo's platoon, his bullying towards Mr. Galloway drove the latter to self-loathing and alcoholism, and even convinced him to commit himself to a mental institution. What's worse is that an unused file had him casually mentioning that his wife committed suicide, only for him to comment on how rude of herit was to do it, so he may have also been an abusive husband.
Gary was always a grade-A prick, but most of his actions would have, at worst, gotten Jimmy a beating. That was until he went to the Townies and convinced them to burn down the gym with several students inside.
Jimmy cannot stay up late in the game, as he'll feel sleepy and eventually pass out. While he's sleepy, the screen becomes to get blurry, Jimmy lower his head tired and this begins to slowly creep its the way into the soundtrack. Not to mention that by that time, the whole academy and the town become pretty much almost deserted. It's rather creepy to say the least.
Some of the freaks in the carnival Freakshow are rather creepy.
During the development of the game, Rockstar had considered Jimmy being killed in case the player failed to defeat Edgar at the showdown in the chemical plant, where Jimmy would fall into an acid pool, burning alive with Edgar mocked him. There is a recreation of this cutscene, using Edgar's lines where he mocks Jimmy as he dies. The fact that Rockstar considered having a 15 year old die burning in acid while a much older kid mocked him is horrifying to say the least.
During the final mission where Jimmy chases Gary up the scaffolding surrounding Bullworth Academy's bell tower, Gary continuously throws bricks at Jimmy to make him fall off and even hurls wheelbarrows full of debris down ladders to stop him. Gary is actually trying to outright kill Jimmy. The build-up music could seriously count when it plays alongside Gary's "The Reason You Suck" Speech: It starts off with a melancholy guitar riff mixed with a xylophone. As you progress closer to the bell tower, eerie bells start appearing alongside the riff, and the xylophone is overshadowed by deep wails, while the guitar tune starts to sound more pitched. Once you get to the fight with Gary, loud drums and screeching noises start to play as the wails get much deeper as the song gets pitched by the minute. It perfectly fits how low Gary has stooped.
The unused beta Math class song sounds like something straight out of an 80s slasher movie. It's stupidly creepy at first for just a simple math class, but it actually kinda makes some sense when you realize how evil Mr. Hattrick is.
Go to the cemetery at night. Not only is it eerie in itself as you feel like some corpse is suddenly gonna jump out at you, there is a church there that lights up and has a priest begin to say unintelligible words when you stand near it. Some players speculated that a satanic cult is happening in there and the thought of it alone is...unnerving to say the least.
Gloria's sheer intelligence, as shown in her quotes, may have been a leftover from when she was a much older girl who was able to make out with Jimmy. This is further shown by the fact that her voice and mannerisms seem very atypical to the little kids.
Peanut's Napoleon Complex seems rather odd since he's of average height, much taller than the very short Jimmy. Some concept art show that at one point in development, he actually was short.
Paranoia Fuel: The school's basement outside mission tasks. It is devoid of life, with flickering lights, a broken elevator that still sparks, and a radio playing out of nowhere. Not helped that after "Help Gary" and Russel's boss fight, you only need to go into it to get a transistor for the hobo, smash the pumpkins, get a rubber band, or toilet paper for an errand. Even there, the basement is still pretty creepy.
Polished Port: The Wii version is a pretty straightforward example of this — and probably the best version of the game. It includes extra content, has somewhat improved graphics, and makes solid use of the Wii's motion controls. The Xbox 360 and PC versions are theoretically this, as they also have the extra content along with much-improved graphics compared to the PS2 and Wii versions. However...
In the Xbox 360 version, the music minigame becomes a Luck-Based Mission because of a bug in registering both bumpers at the same time. Moreover, the release version of the game suffered some pretty nasty glitches and performance problems, which weren't fixed for some time afterwards. Most noticeably, there's one errand (find Algie's jacket) which will never appear no matter what you do.
In the PC version, the music minigame isn't perfect. Music class requires you to use left alt and right alt, sometimes at the same time, inability of some keyboards to register that input be damned. Also, a Christmas mission exclusive to Scholarship Edition is a nightmare on the PC. The idea is to have Jimmy snipe a few people in order to complete the mission. However, the game has an odd tendency to simply not spawn the very last target at all. Also, the mouse has a weird inertia when aiming in first person view that makes sniping sequences harder and more tedious than they should be. It's also prone to crashing on Windows 10.
The mobile Anniversary Edition - even though it's a rather solid port, it still has a few glitches - Car windows and lamp-posts cannot be destroyed (although the trouble meter for vandalism will still appear), it's possible to get locked in aim mode sometimes (which can usually be fixed by getting attacked by an enemy), bikes sometimes may not move and/or cause a camera angle glitch, and hitting both sides of the screen on the Music class is just as problematic as it is on the PC.
The PlayStation 4 version. Its primary issue is a poor framerate, despite the PS4 being more than capable of handling it. While it's somewhat understandable due to essentially being a PS2 emulator instead of an enhanced version, it's still disappointing.
Baron Vaughn, Tad's voice actor, was virtually unknown at the time of the game's release. However, he's become much more known nowadays for his stand-up comedy appearances on many TV shows, and for starring in an update series of Mystery Science Theater 3000.
Andrew Rannells, Bif's voice actor, was mostly known for doing anime dubs (most notably, Len from Shaman King). Now, he's known for his Broadway roles, most notably The Book of Mormon.
While not exactly a force of pure evil, Lola is still one of the least likable characters by far. She takes advantage of every guy around her and the only times she's ever nice to anyone, including Jimmy, it's just to gauge how she can exploit them and will immediately turn nasty if she can't. For perspective, even the Alpha Bitch cheer captain Mandy and Rich Bitch preppy girl Pinky are given some moments to show there's more to them than their initial characterization suggests, but Lola's characterization pretty much starts and stops at "self-absorbed, manipulative tramp". She seems to be viewed as an In-universe example as well, as most other characters refer to her as such, and even Jimmy doesn't like her in their cutscenes together.
Rudy, the hobo Santa exclusive to Scholarship Edition, for being forced into the beginning of Chapter 3 despite being completely irrelevant, and for merely being a comic relief character who quickly disappears after his storyline is finished. Not helping is that the missions in his storylines are generally regarded as being forgettable and too easy.
A commonly criticized feature is the fact that Jimmy can't get a haircut and wear a hat at the same time, or else it will revert back to his default shave. This wouldn't be so much of an issue to players if it wasn't that Rockstar's last game with customization averted this completely.
The music class minigame from the Scholarship Edition. It's pretty tough on the PC version, since some of the notes require both keys to be hit simultaneously, resulting in some misses, but it's damn near impossible on the Xbox 360 version, since the keys don't even register on some of the later classes.
"Seinfeld" Is Unfunny: Jimmy is canonically bisexual, and the player has the option of romancing and kissing a select few male NPCs. Even though this is completely optional, and the game never explicitly presents it as an option, this caused considerable controversy in 2006, when putting openly LGBT characters in children's media was still considered rather taboo. Today, it can be hard to see it as daring, particularly since it's so difficult to find if you're not looking for it.
Sidetracked by the Gold Saucer: While the amusement park is the game's Gold Saucer, there's also a ton of races, collecting, and other side stuff to keep you away from the main story for a while.
Everything involving Edna the cafeteria lady. If she's not trying to date rape old men, she's intentionally hacking phlegm into the food.
Mr. Burton asking Jimmy to fetch used panties from the girls' dorm.
There is the mission where Burton gets tumbled around in a portable toilet and is smothered in feces.
You can make out with one of the old women in town.
Strawman Has a Point: The Galloway vs. Hattrick mission revolves around Jimmy defending Mr. Galloway from Mr. Hattrick, the latter of whom is trying to get the former fired for drinking on the job. Granted, Galloway is pretty much one of the most popular teachers at the school and Hattrick is a richbastard. However, Hattrick is kinda right when he calls Galloway out for drinking in front of students and on the job. Of course, it's stated that years of bullying from Hattrick drove Galloway to drink in the first place and Hattrick has no place to talk about what is proper behavior in front of students.
Gary's betrayal, particularly how shocked Jimmy was that it happened. Despite being a jerkass to him, Jimmy did see him as a friend up until that point.
In Scholarship Edition, you are tasked to help a homeless man dressed as Santa. In one of the missions, you have to destroy the "real" Santa's Christmas decorations next to a big Christmas tree, all while he begs you to stop and asks you why are you doing that. When you're done vandalizing the place, he cries out in despair that Christmas is ruined. It's pretty heart-wrenching.
Derby is a "Get Back Here!" Boss who constantly sics his underlings on you. When you finally catch up to him, he'll have his underlings getting in your way until you barricade the doors, but that's easier said than done when Derby keeps interrupting you. Finally, Derby uses Good Old Fisticuffs, but is constantly blocking and countering your attacks.
The Preppy Clique in general tend to be deceptively tough enemies due to their boxing abilities allowing them to duck and weave around Jimmy's attacks. Naturally Derby and his cronies are the toughest obstacle during the final mission, Complete Mayhem.
That One Sidequest: Errands. They are essential for 100% completion, but knowing where they are is a serious case of Guide Dang It!. Even if you do know where they are, they get triggered at random. Sometimes, they'll pop up when you're in the middle of something else, and other times, you can keep going to the same spot over and over, but it'll take forever to activate them. If you're riding a vehicle while an errand activates, you might get too far away from the map blip and you'll lose your chance to do it.
Ted Thompson, the leader of the Jocks, is made out to be the strongest clique leader by his opponents, and even has cut dialogue that reflects on his Jerk Jock personality. However, he barely gets any screen time compared to Derby, Johnny and Earnest, and despite the well-received build up to The Big Game (and the first three parts of the mission), he ends up being a complete pushover. He doesn't even appear after The Candidate (a subplot also criticized for not having much development) until Chapter 4 (excluding This Is Your School), and is even missing from The Gym Is Burning, and even in his own chapter, he doesn't get much screen time or mentions. Many feel that Damon West was better suited as the chapter antagonist, as not only is he one of the toughest kids in the school (even tougher than Ted himself) and appears in much more missions, but has much more screen time compared to Ted.
This is a common criticism of Gary. Despite being Jimmy's deluded False Friendand eventually the main antagonist, he too doesn't get much screen time or dialogue to showcase his cruel-spirited, manipulativenature, with even the rival clique leaders appearing more times than him. His rough upbringing is also brought up by many characters in conversations (with some believing that his father may be the disgraced son of Mr. Smith), but is never given much exploration apart from Gary mentioning his problems with the world during his first conversation. This has made Gary a very polarizing character among the fandom, some of whom believe that another character would have been a better villain.
Several of Jimmy's potential love interests (Angie and Christy, most egregiously) get surprisingly little Character Development, and never get fleshed out in missions or cutscenes. It's a bit jarring if you spend a lot of time kissing them and flirting with them during gameplay, only for Jimmy to never spend any time with them during the story.
They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: The class president plotline in Chapter 1 is advertising all over the school and is the basis of the mission "The Candidate". This would be an excellent time to show the rivalry between the Jocks and the Nerds, both of whose leaders are making speeches there, right? Unfortunately, the plotline is thrown away fairly quickly, you only hear Earnest's speech, and there are no further references to the plotline afterwards (the winner is never revealed, no one talks about it, and every poster is taken down), not even in the Nerd/Jock rivalry plotline that is Chapter 4.
Tough Act to Follow: Among fans of the game, it is generally agreed that the game's timeless setting, storyline about how being a bully isn't worth it, and characters would make it hard to pull off a sequel to the game, particularly after the rise of cyber-bullying and technology in the late Noughties.
Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Edgar. He ordered his henchmen to perform various reprehensible acts against Bullworth, including setting the gym on fire and nearly killing a few students, all because his parents weren't able to afford to get him into Bullworth Academy. The only reason Jimmy lets his actions slide is because Gary manipulated him into doing it and the only real consequence he faced was a beating from Jimmy, but the punishment nowhere near fits the crime of arson and attempted murder.
Values Dissonance: The game has a pre-set command that lets the player pinch girls' butts.note Using the command on a male NPC will result in giving them a wedgie. The girls will invariably react negatively to it, the game treats it as a rule violation, and doing it to an underaged girl is one of the most serious offenses in the game, but it rarely comes with extremely serious consequences, and the "Stats" book files it under "Romance", implying that it's just innocent flirting. The stats even track the number of "Bottoms Pinched". Considering modern attitudes toward sexual harassment, there's no way that would fly in a T-rated game a decade later.
Pedro. One of the youngest kids in Bullworth, he's so paranoid about getting bullied that apparently he wets the bed. His philosophy seems to be "Just look down, don't make eye contact with anyone". To make it worse, some beta dialogue for one mission indicates that one of his guardians died during the story-line and he would have to live in the school, and Jimmy would have to steal flowers from said guardian's grave.
Algernon. He is probably the easiest target for bullies because of his poor social skills and his incontinence, despite being a Nice Guy for the most part. The only girl to ever give him any attention turned out to only be doing it so he could help her with her homework. You could even hear him on the verge of crying when Lola calls him "Fatso."